Reading and keeping up to date is part of the job of a Software Engineer. The tech world keeps changing, and it is important to stay competitive in the market. Also, it is part of my Kaizen philosophy: every book I read makes me a better professional. 🤓
Yet, sometimes it is hard to find the time to read a book from start to end. There is work, family, sport, other hobbies or duties, and can be hard to spend time on our beloved book. Here, I want to share some tips that helped me (well, are helping me) to create a reading habit. The goal is to make it natural to read a few pages every day.
Chose a topic that interests you
Read a technical book (or something related) can be hard after a full day of work. It can be harder if we force ourselves on reading something that is not that interesting. Chose a topic that interests you and motivates you to grab your book and start reading!
Put it where you see it
Leave the book where you can see it. Don’t put it back on the shelf after you read it. Instead, place it on the table of the living room, the desk in your studio, or in a place where you spend most of your time. This will make it easier to trigger the impulse to read it.
Focus on one book
Focus on a single book per time. You start it, you finish it, you can move to the next one. Reading many books in parallel can be overwhelming. You can end up looking at the several books you are reading, can’t decide what to read today, and give up. Stick with one and enjoy it, other books will wait for you. I promise. 😉
Apply the 2 minutes rule
The “2 minutes rule” is very helpful to make a habit. The rule is simple: “Starting a new habit should never take more than two minutes to do”. This can sound stupid but give it a try. Every day you open the book, read a page (or a paragraph/small chapter/whatever) and put it down. It will start to be part of your daily activities without you even noticing it. Also, if you are short in time, you won’t feel the pressure to read for an hour straight to have a sense of accomplishment. This rule will change your life, believe me. 🚀
Try to find a dedicated time
I found it easier to make a reading habit if I read more or less at the same time of the day. To me is after dinner: I sit on my couch, my book is on the table in front of me, so I pick it up. I read for a time that spans from 5 minutes to half an hour. I (almost) always have 5 minutes after dinner. Try to find the time that better suits your daily schedule.
Don’t be too hard with yourself
Being consistent and making it a daily habit is the final goal, but life happens. Sometimes there is an unexpected event, you are sick, or you have a bad day. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you cannot read your book every single day. Work to make it a habit, not a duty.
That’s it! These are a few tips that are making me able to stick with a book and read it every day (more or less). They are working for me, I hope they will do the same for you! 🍀
photo by Luca Florio